Germain Racing switches to Ford

UPDATE The organization has funding for 22-23 Cup races from Geico and hopes to have enough money to avoid having Casey Mears start and park in 2012. Mears put the Cup car solidly in the top 35 (32nd overall) to lock the organization into the first five races of 2012. The team goes to Daytona with Fords instead of Toyotas, with whom it had a long relationship. Germain didn't plan to switch but hoped to change from Triad engines to Toyota Racing Development engines. TRD, which already is building engines for Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing and had planned on backing Red Bull Racing, too, wouldn't commit to building engines for the organization until 2013, Germain said.

So Germain went looking for a new manufacturer and now has a deal with Ford. It will buy cars from Roush Fenway Racing and lease engines from Roush Yates Engines. Germain has numerous Toyota and Lexus dealerships but the family's first dealership sold Fords and the family has deep roots with the company. Mears will test next week at Daytona with a car re-skinned from Toyota to Ford but likely will have a Roush Fenway chassis by Speedweeks next month. Germain has shown the ability to field competitive equipment. The Germain family started the team in 2004, won two truck titles with Todd Bodine and 22 races overall in the series. Much of the painful part – parting with Bodine, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. and general manager Mike Hillman Sr. and others who played an integral role in building the organization – hurt, but it's a decision Germain said was necessary.

Although he loved the series, he could not fund the trucks out of his own pocket if sponsorship didn't come through. Germain said any future expansion likely would be to a second Cup car and not a truck or Nationwide team. For now, Germain said the team will run the first 10 races the full length and hopes it has done enough to attract funding to keep the team from just showing up, qualifying, and running a few laps before going home. Germain has relationships with Valvoline, Tire Kingdom and Service Central that it hopes to put on the hood. SceneDaily

01/06/12 Germain Racing, owned by Bob Germain Jr., announced they will join the Ford Racing family for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The team's move to Ford means their #13 GEICO entry will become the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion. Germain explains that the move is well in line with long-term Germain family relationships. "The Germain's have a long history with Ford Motor Company. My grandfather worked with Henry Ford as an accountant and my father worked as a guide in the Henry Ford Museum. Our family currently owns and operates both Ford and Lincoln dealerships and we have many friends at Ford Motor Company. I'm excited to join the Ford Racing team," said Germain.

"Germain Racing is focused on getting strong results for our GEICO Fusion program. Heading into NASCAR's first season of electronic fuel injection, we are extremely confident in the technology and engines from Roush & Yates Racing Engines that we will race this season," said Germain, whose team has services agreements with Roush & Yates Racing Engines and Roush Fenway Racing for the coming year. Germain Racing will again feature the talent of driver Casey Mears behind the wheel of the #13 GEICO Fusion entry. Mears joined Germain in 2010.

In November, GEICO agreed to a sponsorship extension that will see the Gecko adorning the hood of the #13 Germain Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry through at least the 2014 season. GEICO coupled the extension with an increase in involvement, ramping up the number of primary races at which they will serve as the primary sponsor. Thinking along the lines of continuity, team owner Bob Germain subsequently extended Mears' contract, while also retaining crew chief Bootie Barker, who will continue to call the shots for Mears and the GEICO team.

When the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion rolls off of the truck for Daytona 500 practice in February, NASCAR fans will be met with a new, exciting paint scheme that will serve as a re-launching of sorts of the GEICO NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program. For most of the previous eleven years, GEICO racecars have featured some variation of the color red, but beginning in 2012, Mears will pilot a car that features the lively color combination of blue and white with green accents. Germain Racing

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